U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 3, 2014

There is a serious disconnect between what Congress is doing and what this country needs if it is to have a healthy society and economy.

— RESULTS Coastal CT volunteer Bill Baker in a May 29 op-ed in the Stamford Advocate

Helping working families stay above poverty levels should be a higher priority than creating corporate tax cuts.

— RESULTS Montana volunteer Karen Cunningham in a May 29 letter to the editor in the Missoulian

New and Urgent in This Week's Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Set Up Your June 24 Lobby Day Meetings

Three weeks from today, hundreds of RESULTS volunteers from around the world will be meeting with members of Congress and World Bank officials for Lobby Day at the RESULTS International Conference. As we’ve noted the last few weeks, this is the most important day of the conference each year. All the things we do to get ourselves ready to lobby don’t mean much if we don’t actually lobby our elected officials.

If you are coming to the conference, please contact your House and Senate offices to request meetings for Lobby Day, June 24. If you haven’t started already, make your requests this week. For those of you not coming, help your fellow group members put in requests. If you are expecting to do a large number of meetings but only one or two of you from your group are coming, having help from others is very much appreciated (it is perfectly appropriate to make a request on behalf of someone else). Help ensure a great Lobby Day in DC – put in your requests now!

Once you get a meeting scheduled, please enter the information into our RESULTS Conference Lobby Meeting Form.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes THIS WEEK to contact your House and Senate schedulers (names can be found on our Elected Officials page) to schedule your lobby meetings at the RESULTS International Conference. Lobby Day is Tuesday, June 24. If possible, schedule meetings with one chamber (House or Senate) for one time of day and their other chamber for another part of day (to avoid shuttling back and forth across the Capitol a bunch of times). Use our downloadable meeting request letter or our online version to make your requests. If you are not coming to the conference, please offer to help schedule meetings for people in your group or state coming to the conference. This will be a great help to your fellow DC travelers.

If you have questions or need help with making your requests, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) or Meredith Dodson ([email protected]). Also, if you have yet to schedule a Lobby Day prep call with Meredith, please do so ASAP.


Got Ten Minutes? Send in Your Letter to the Editor (May Action)

Last week, RESULTS volunteers got four media pieces published about tax priorities in Congress – an op-ed by Bill Baker of RESULTS Coastal Connecticut on May 29, a letter to the editor by Karen Cunningham of RESULTS Montana on May 29, and letters to the editor by RESULTS Des Moines volunteers Ivan and Marion Lyddon on May 27 and Jos Linn on May 31. Congratulations to you all and to everyone who sent in letters this month. If you haven’t sent in a letter yet or didn’t get published, it’s not too late. This issue of misguided tax priorities is still ripe. After passing a $300 billion tax cut in early May, the House is considering another $300 billion corporate tax break. This would wipe out any deficit savings created by the “fiscal cliff” deal passed in early 2013. Members of Congress need to know that their constituents don’t support tax breaks for wealthy corporations taking center stage instead of helping working families who get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

TAKE ACTION: Use the May Action to take ten minutes to send a letter to the editor to your local newspaper urging Congress to get its priorities straight. Urge members by name to oppose new tax cuts for wealthy corporations. Tell them to focus on vital improvements to the EITC and CTC instead. The May Action has talking points and background information, including state-specific data for your letters. Also, please use state EITC and CTC data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to make your letter more local. If you don’t have much time to draft a letter, use the RESULTS letter to the editor online action.

In addition, use your media successes to burnish your bona fides with congressional offices. If you get published, send your letter to your members of Congress. Also, if you or someone in your group is attending the RESULTS International Conference, compile and organize all your media successes and bring them to Washington, DC. You can show them to your members of Congress and their staff during your lobby meetings. In an election year when members of Congress are wary of negative press, this will show them that you have no problem using the power of the press to express your views on the issues.


Got Twenty Minutes? Mobilize Your Communities into Action (June Action)

In June, work to engage your community in pushing Congress to expand economic mobility in America. RESULTS volunteers will be traveling to Washington, DC this month for the RESULTS International Conference. They will lobby Congress on protecting and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), as well as enacting the Financial Security Credit can help address the growing wealth gap. Use the conference, regardless of whether you’re coming to DC or not, to mobilize others into action. Take advantage of this opportunity to turn up the volume on our issues.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to start planning steps you can take to engage your community into action this month, using the RESULTS International Conference as the catalyst. The June Action has a full list of helpful tips and resources to help you. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create a list of 10 or more people you’ll target. Think of people in your local action network, friends and colleagues at work, online contacts through Facebook and Twitter, and others you know who might be willing to take action. List them out. Your list should be at least twice as long as the number of people you hope to engage (not everyone says yes).
  2. Engage people personally and tell them what’s at stake. Your friends, family members, work colleagues, and others are much more likely to do something if you tell them personally on why taking action is important to you and what’s at stake. See more information in the June Action.
  3. Give people a specific action to take.
    1. Ask people to write letters to Congress, collect the letters, and deliver them in person during your lobby meetings in DC. This will amplify your message. See the June Action for a sample letter.
    2. On Tuesday, June 24, RESULTS is organizing a National Call-in Day during Lobby Day at the RESULTS International Conference . Ask people to call Congress that day about expanding economic mobility in American. Help generate hundreds of calls at the same time as hundreds of lobby meetings on Capitol Hill. We will have a printable call-in flyer you can use to send people; it will instruct them on what to say. The flyer will be linked to in the June Action.
    3. Send people our online tax credit action alert.
  4. Amplify your work using social media. Post a short message like, “I’m outraged that Congress wants to cut tax for corporations while ignoring the needs of working Americans. Join me in taking action: http://tinyurl.com/p6vbyua and ask your friends to let you know they’ve taken action.

Get Ready for the RESULTS International Conference

It’s not too late to register for the RESULTS International Conference. If you’re looking for a life-changing experience and you don’t know what to do, come to this year’s conference. It promises to be an amazing event with great speakers, fun and engaging trainings, and a powerful day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. Make you summer a meaningful one – register for the conference today!

For those of you coming to DC for the conference, it’s time to start getting ready. Here’s a list of seven things to do before you board your DC-bound plane, train, or automobile later this month.

  1. Contact Meredith Dodson to set up a lobby prep call. Thank you to everyone who has scheduled or completed your call with Meredith to prepare you for Lobby Day on June 24. If you do not have a prep call scheduled, please contact her ASAP to get one set up: [email protected], (202) 783-7100, x. 116.
  2. Make appointments with your members of Congress. Please contact your House and Senate schedulers (find names and contact info on our Elected Officials page) to schedule your lobby meetings. The earlier you make you requests, the better chance of getting face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress. Use our downloadable meeting request letter or our online version to make your requests.
  3. Enter your meetings in the Lobby Meeting Form. Once you have your lobby meetings scheduled, please take a few minutes to enter the details of each meeting into our RESULTS Conference Lobby Meeting Form. Please fill out the form for each meeting you have.
  4. Invite your Members of Congress to the Lobby Day Reception. At the end of Lobby Day, RESULTS volunteers will gather at the Washington Court Hotel just off Capitol Hill for the Lobby Day Reception. This is a great opportunity to hear from members of Congress about the great work you do. Use our invitation letter to invite your members of Congress to attend.
  5. Read the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative Handbook. The legislative handbook has background information on all of our 2014 U.S. Poverty Campaigns and is a valuable resource in preparation for the conference. We strongly recommend you download and read it before you come to DC (and bring a hard or digital copy with you) as you won’t have a lot of time to read it when you’re there. We do apologize for the delay; the handbook will be available later this week on the RESULTS International Conference page.
  6. Submit Your Photos for the Conference Opening. When the conference opens on June 21, we will begin with a slideshow. We want your photos included in that slideshow. Take a picture of yourself and/or your group holding a sign that finishes this sentence: “The change I want to create in the world is…” Send your photos to [email protected]. Also, join our Eversnapp album (http://eversnapapp.com/i/t4hu50dd) and share the photos you take at the conference with us.
  7. Submit Questions for Keynote Speakers. Whether you’re attending the conference or not, you can submit questions for conference keynote speakers Dr. Jim Kim, Tavis Smiley, Raj Shah, and others. Go to our questions form to submit your questions today.

For an additional list of helpful tips to get ready and engage others for the conference, download the International Conference Checklist. We look forward to seeing you in DC!


House on Recess This Week – Attend Town Halls

Members of the House of Representatives are home this week on recess. Some members will be holding town hall meetings. You may also have the opportunity to set up a last minute face-to-face meeting. Meet with your members of Congress and urge them to protect the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), support for the Financial Security Credit, and maintain key investments in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care. If you cannot get as meeting or attend a town hall this week, ask for a meeting the next time they are home (June 30 – July 4).

TAKE ACTION: Contact schedulers today (find names on our Elected Officials page) to set up meetings with your representative this week. Use our downloadable meeting request letter or our online version to make your requests. Also, please ask the scheduler about any public events or town halls your members of Congress may be holding during the recess and plan to attend to ask a question. Use our Sample Town Hall Questions for these events. When you get a meeting set up or plan to attend a town hall, please contact Meredith ([email protected]) to get personalized coaching for your individual members of Congress. Also remember to take a copy of our Economic Mobility and Early Childhood lobby request sheets to give to your members of Congress.


Quick News

Congress Trying to Weaken Nutrition Standards… Again. The House Appropriations Committee last Thursday approved an FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would roll back the nutrition standards for school breakfast and lunch programs by allowing waivers for schools who have financial difficulty implementing the regulations. The nutrition standards, enacted as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, require school meals to have more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and place restrictions on their fat, trans fat, sodium, and caloric content. Representative Sam Farr (D-CA-20) offered an amendment that would have removed the waiver provision, but the amendment was defeated. The bill is expected to be considered by the full House in the coming weeks. For more information, see the RESULTS Blog post by U.S. Poverty Intern Kayla Kitson. RESULTS opposes efforts to weaken nutrition standards in federal food assistance programs.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.


Fundraising Update

Everyone is invited to be part of our Second Annual “Everyday Hero” Virtual Dash. This is a virtual event to raise money to support you and invite others to be heroes with us. It's a fun run or walk that you literally can do anywhere: your neighborhood, a track, even a treadmill. If you are coming the International Conference, join us at the DoubleTree Hilton in Crystal City on June 21 at 7:00 pm, and we'll head out together (some of us in superhero costume) for a 1 mile or 5K run/walk. 

It's easy to participate!

  • Register on our website www.tinyurl.com/2014EDH for just $25.
  • Choose a date between June 1-30, 2014.
  • Walk, run, or even bike a distance meaningful to you: 1 mile, a 5K, 10 miles...
  • Get your 2nd Annual "Everyday Heroes” Medal. This year’s is blue, so it’s different from last years’ if you’re building a collection! If you are onsite for the run/walk - you will receive your medal at the IC. If you’re not in DC, they will be mailed in July.

You can also tie a Friends & Family fundraiser into it by gathering a group of friends to walk/run together and make it a fundraising event or you can set up your own personal fundraising page (www.tinyurl.com/resultsrace) and ask Friends & Family to donate online in support of your challenge. If you have questions, please contact Jen DeFranco at [email protected].


Announcements

Welcome RESULTS Johnson County (IA)! Last week, RESULTS Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns met with volunteers in Iowa City, IA for their final “new group” training. The group set out an exciting plan going forward and in doing so, officially and successfully completed their training. Their official name is RESULTS Johnson County (IA) and we look forward to great things from them in the coming months. Welcome and congratulations, RESULTS Johnson County!

Nominate Grassroots Volunteer for RESULTS Board. We are seeking nominations for two Grassroots Board Member positions which will be open this fall. Candidates can be nominated by others or can nominate themselves. The deadline to nominate someone is Sunday, June 15. Please e-mail your nomination to [email protected] or call 202-783-4800 x152.

Give Feedback to Grassroots Board Members. The four RESULTS Grassroots Board Members (Heide Craig, Lydia Pendley, Ginnie Vogts, and Beth Wilson) would like to hear from you if you have questions or ideas about RESULTS and our work. Send your questions or suggestions to Heide at: [email protected].


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House, June 2 – 6, June 30 – July 4; Senate: June 30 – July 4. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, June 11: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00pm CT. Register for this or another Intro Call at: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Saturday, June 14: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, June 17: RESULTS Media Support Call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 775-7399, passcode 954747#.

Tuesday, June 17: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

Saturday, June 21 - Tuesday, June 24: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. REGISTER TODAY!


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.